Digital continues to grow, TV to recover faster than other mediums

As per Tam AdEx report, other mediums witnessed a drop in ad volumes in May '21 as compared to April '21

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Jun 24, 2021 8:54 AM  | 4 min read

While the second wave had muted effects on the ad industry in April-May this year, the uncertainty it brought along, however, made advertisers tighten their purse strings. 

As per the TAM AdEx report, the ad volumes in TV fell by 12% in May '21 compared to April '21. Unlike last year, April was least affected during the lockdown period in terms of ad volumes, whereas May witnessed a similar drop this year. Similarly, ad space for Print saw a drop of 49% and a 70% drop in Radio. Digital, on the other hand, grew by 4%. 

Data says that the reasons for Digital's persistence are sharp targeting and surge in consumption, which propelled spends in the medium compared to others.

Digital provides multiple advantages to advertisers and precision targeting is one of them, said Vishal Shah, Managing Partner of media agency-MediaCom. "They can choose the specific market for advertising, which is not severely affected during this period. Secondly, digital consumption has increased multifold, whether it's online shopping or video consumption. The consumer is showing traction on an online platform, and therefore, brands want to connect with them on those platforms."

As per the report, four out of top five categories were from the e-commerce sector in May '21. Software was the only category in the top five from the non-eCommerce sector. 

A shift has been happening in audience behaviour and habits, which has led to slight growth in Digital ad volume in May 2021, with certain restrictions being lifted, shared Ankush Vij, Director Media, Hashtag Orange. 

Vij further explained that sectors such as Edutech, Fin-tech, short-form video platforms, wealth management, and D2C start-ups have been filling 'gap versus need' in the past year. 

Vij said, "With theatres being shut, the scope on OTT has augmented multiple folds, be it original content or sports as a category. This strengthens further with Connected TV. The beauty of digital is that it is a non-linear consumer journey today with a minimum of 6 to 7 touchpoints before a consumer makes a decision."

The changing trends drive a seismic shift in consumer behaviour, which has a significant impact on e-commerce, video, audio streaming, vernacular, and OTT, said Vij. "I see FMCG and e-commerce leading the stack. Also, sports and GEC as a category driving a major part of this with so much action happening on OTT. Now, with IPL rescheduled around September, I see the scope of the ad volume and revenue going up towards August and September," he added. 

"On TV, May witnessed a dip in FCT because clients were looking at sharp targeting. The majority of the decrease in terms of FCTs dominated by the Hindi genres. In Southern markets, Karnataka witnessed a marginal drop of 1%, whereas Tamil FCT reduced by 12%, Telugu by 16%, and Bengal and Orissa FCT dropped by 11%," shared Shah. 

Shah added that May was more of a 'wait and watch' period for many advertisers. Since the lockdown restrictions are lifting slowly in many states now, advertisers are positive and want to connect with their consumers. 

"The last couple of weeks looked far more positive and from July onwards, it will only get better. With the cases coming under control and vaccination drive picking up, clients want to start getting active again and interacting with the consumers," said Shah. 

However, the industry experts believe that a similar pattern is expected when it comes to the recovery i.e, TV and Digital are expected to recover faster than print and radio. Experts believe that Print and Radio will stagnate for some time, whereas TV will remain stable and likely to grow from July to August. 

A senior media planner on the condition of anonymity shared, "The change in advertisers' media plans is reflected in ad volumes across the board. TV was the least hit, while Radio took the worst hit because the reach had fallen drastically in the April-May period with a huge drop in the commute traffic. On the other hand, the print had an overall low start to the new fiscal with factors other than the lockdown, like rising newsprint prices."  

He added, "Fortunately for TV, they were still fresh content, and people kept coming back to the medium for the daily dose of entertainment as well as news keeping the traffic on the medium intact. Advertisers who wanted to advertise even in this period parked their money in television and digital mediums because these didn't take a hit in viewership and reach as others did. However, the next quarter looks better across mediums. Digital is already growing and expected to grow more when everything will normalize, while TV is likely to recover faster than Radio and Print."

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